Easy Ways to Live Green and Save Green

April 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Green Family & Home

We can no longer turn a blind eye to our effect on the environment around us from unrestrained energy usage and excess waste. In order to turn things around for our children and grandchildren, more and more families are making the commitment to live a green lifestyle that is gentler to the planet. The best part is that green habits are cost effective for the family budget as well. To get you started, here are some tips to live green and save energy costs:

1. Get fit and active. Instead of jumping in the car for short trips, walk or take your bike. Gasoline costs are always rising and their emissions pollute the air. By only using the car when you absolutely have to, you will save money, help the environment, and improve your health. If trips are too long to walk or bike, taking public transportation or carpooling are other eco-friendly options.

2. Develop green driving habits. When you do use the car, remember that your vehicle’s engine runs most efficiently at a speed of about 55 mph, as it requires the least amount of gas. Slow it down and enjoy the ride if you’re prone to a lead foot. Also, avoid sudden accelerations and hard braking. Smooth driving equals green driving.

3. Green up your thermostat usage. When weather is cold, try to live with the thermostat turned down a few degrees lower than normal. When it is hot, keep it up a few degrees. Chances are the comfort level won’t change enough to negate the energy and cost savings.

4. Use less water. Shower instead of bathing and keep showers as short as possible. Check all faucets and pipes for leaks and repair them immediately. Consider replacing your traditional toilets with more efficient low flow models. Low flow toilets use only the minimal amount of water needed per flush – up to two less gallons per flush than traditional toilets. Imagine the water and utility bill savings after only a short period of time.

5. Wash clothes with cold water. Modern day laundry detergents are just as efficient in cold water as hot. Most of the power used up by your washing machine is just what it takes to heat the water. This small change can result in instant energy savings.

6. Line dry your clothes. The dryer uses an enormous percentage of your home’s total energy consumption. It’s rewarding and earthy to get outside to clip up clothes for air drying. They end up smelling fresh and clean. It worked for your mother and grandmother, and still works just as well. When weather is too cold or wet, clothes can be air dried on racks indoors.

7. Change the light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are a simple but profitable investment for a green home. They use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs, and last up to 10 times as long. For even more, high tech energy efficiency, check out the newer LED lights. Compared to already eco-friendly CFLs, LED bulbs are twice as efficient.

Any of these habits are easy to incorporate into your daily living and make a big difference for the environment and your energy budget. Try living and saving green today.